It’s not an easy job but I just love working with kids. I always helped take care of my siblings and can tell you it’s not just playing with them! As a Nursery Assistant you feed, bath and change them. You’re like their parents for that time you’re caring for them. This is the work I’ve wanted to do for so long. I have a job already, but I want to complete my Level 3 in childcare so I can move further in my career.
I became homeless at 16 years old. I was kicked out of home and began staying with my boyfriend. Things weren’t working out and I had to go to my council. Being so young, I needed to be placed in a young person’s hostel. But there were no spaces. I stayed with two foster families until a bed became available.
During that time, I had applied for a Nursery Assistant Apprenticeship. When I moved into the hostel, my support workers really encouraged me to keep going with it. I started a full-time job at a nursery and got my Level 2 in Childcare and Early Years. By showing my perseverance and commitment to work and studies, I proved I was capable of supporting myself and could move on from the hostels.
I now have my own, little 1-bedroom flat. Just having my own space after a day at work is the nicest thing and having somewhere to have a cup of tea, chill-out and sleep. Things were going well but late last year, I broke my leg badly and couldn’t work for six months. From working and having an income, to suddenly going on benefits meant I fell behind on a lot of payments, including rent. The more I work and the more senior I can work at, the more I’ll be able to earn and then I can quickly clear my arrears.
After this qualification, I want to do the management qualification. And later on in my career, I’d love to open my own nursery here in London and also for kids back in Colombia, where I’m originally from.
Sam is working with Beam because she's been homeless last year and is currently at risk of homelessness again.